May 22nd 2014 – Stocks End Higher; S&P 500 Near Record

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Market View:

At last some good news for the retailers.  Great report from Dollar Tree in particular.  The stock rallied over 6% today.  We are approaching the All-Time high, which seems likely to be a double top at least.  I think we will see it stumble tomorrow after two great moves up, but it will only a small down move if it happens before we climb up again.

Market News:

U.S. stocks rose modestly on Thursday, extending the prior day’s rally, as investors weighed varied economic reports a day after the Federal Reserve signaled interest rates would remain low for the foreseeable future.

Hewlett-Packard fell after provider of computer hardware and services tallied second-quarter earnings per share of 88 cents, excluding items, on $27.3 billion in revenue, versus estimates of EPS of 88 cents on $27.4 billion in sales.

Chinese retailer JD.com rose in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq; Best Buy gained after the electronics retailer reported first-quarter earnings that beat estimates; Dollar Tree rallied after the discount retailer reported a rise in first-quarter profit; Sears Holdings fell after the retailer reported a larger loss for the first quarter and Hess advanced after refiner Marathon Petroleum said it would pay about $2.87 billion for the oil and gas producer’s retail business. Apple rose to a 52-week high.

Thursday’s data included the Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing, which rose to 56.2 this month from 55.4 in April. And, an initial purchasing managers’ index in China climbed to a five-month high.

Other reports had sales of previously owned homes rising last month; the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators gaining in April and more Americans than estimated filing claims for jobless benefits last week.

After a 43-point fall and 32-point gain, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.02 points, or nearly 0.1 percent, to 16,543.08, with Nike leading blue-chip gains.

After rising within 2 points of its record close, the S&P 500 added 4.46 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,892.49, with utilities and health care the best performing and consumer staples and energy faring the worst of its 10 major industry groups.

The Nasdaq rose 22.80 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,154.34

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty known as the VIX, ended at 11.98, its second lowest close this year.

European markets ended modestly higher. Asian markets closed mostly higher, buoyed by better-than-expected manufacturing data from China. Stocks in Thailand were little changed despite news that military officials had taken control of the government, marking the latest in a string of coups in the past few decades.

FRIDAY: New home sales; Earnings from Foot Locke

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money

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